Sporting News Names Archie Griffin As Greatest Ohio State Buckeye

By DJ Byrnes on March 10, 2014 at 3:44p
69 Comments

Archie "2Heizmanz" Griffin has been named the greatest Ohio State player of all time by Sporting News. It's an argument tough to go against, even for an advocate of the Devil.

Legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes said of college football's only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, "He's a better young man than he is football player, and he's the best football player I've ever seen." Hayes must have realized that when Griffin rushed for a then-Ohio State record 239 yards against North Carolina as a freshman. Griffin finished with 5,889 rushing yards and is one of two players to start a consecutive four Rose Bowls. He is now president of the Ohio State Alumni Association.

The list is as follows, from two to 10:

  • Chic Harley
  • Eddie George
  • Chris Spielman
  • Orlando Pace
  • Troy Smith
  • Vic Janowicz
  • Les Horvath
  • Howard "Hopalong" Cassady
  • A.J. Hawk

Personally, I'm up in arms about Jack Tatum failing to make this subjective list. 

69 Comments

Comments

Tanner's picture

I have a #47 Hawk jersey but you could make a pretty good case Katzenmoyer deserves to be on this list before him

+2 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Hell, you could make a good case for James Laurinaitis over him too.  Just goes to show how good Ohio State linebackers have been.  LBU!  I also think Nick Mangold could be considered a snub as well, or any of the great WRs we've had: Carter, Glenn, Galloway, Boston, Jenkins, etc.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

hodge's picture

Don't forget Randy Gradishar, either.

+3 HS
ToledoMan's picture

Woody said Gradishar was the best linebacker he had ever coached.  It is also widely accepted the perennial All Pro is the greatest defensive player to ever play for the Denver Broncos.  Oh and Cousineau was great too.  The former #1 overall pick.  I would take both over Hawk.

+1 HS
Tanner's picture

Hawk v Laurinaitis is a pretty interesting comparison. I know Laurinaitis is more decorated, but I still think Hawk was a little better on the field.

+6 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

I agree Tanner. Without looking up stats, I would pick Hawk every time. Not a knock on Laurinaitis, but Hawk was a very special player.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+1 HS
IH8UOFM's picture

I am one of the biggest AJ Hawk fans on the planet, but after watching a OSU History DVD last night, it reminded me how fast and instinctive Big Kat was. I agree.

I have a 47 jersey for my son, and considering getting a pink one for the wife as well...

Bolt's picture

How about Mike Doss or Malcolm Jenkins. Doss was a 3-time all american and came back for his senior year to captain the team to a nat'l title. Jenkins was a Thorpe award winner and 2-time all american and a consummate leader of the defense during one of our best stretches in school history.

hodge's picture

The only player who could have conceivably been ranked ahead of him was ranked #2 (it's more "1A / 1B" in my opinion), so I'd say they got this pretty right -- especially at the top.

Tatum's a pretty glaring omission; he should have definitely been in there over Hawk.

Mortc15's picture

I'm not sure how anyone could argue with Archie as #1. He's a fixture of the OSU program and being the President of the Alumni Association speaks volumes about how involved he is with the Ohio State community, both in Columbus and worldwide. A truly legendary player and Buckeye.

Buck-I4Life

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

Hard to argue this list, although Tatum and Katzenmoyer are both names that one could argue, and there are dozens of others who would be worthy of discussion. Archie is pretty much a no-brainer. Hard to argue his success on the field, and hard to argue the impact he's had on the program and the university off the field.

+2 HS
Unky Buck's picture

I'm with you on this, AV. It's what you get out of a subjective listing. It's just a matter of opinion. The only one that isn't debatable is Archie. 

...

+1 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I cannot argue with that list - especially with Archie at the top!  He is the complete essence of a Buckeye through and through

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Tanner's picture

Joe Bauserman must have been #11

+10 HS
Devin1024's picture

You beat me to it.

+1 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

That would mean he barely missed the list. Bauserman barely missing isn't Bauserman football.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+14 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

You took the words right out of the Buckeye Nation's collective mouths!!!  I will always thank him for being a Buckeye, but Bauserman and barely missed were never used in the same sentence when talking about his passes!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

+1 HS
Knarcisi's picture

That comment is just out of bounds. 

+5 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

What time is the next show and who's the opening act?

+4 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

If you're throwing Bauser jokes out there... I'll be in the 11th row.

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

11th row is just about the right spot for a Bauserman out pattern. 

Knarcisi's picture

Linga is like Lilith if I were Cliff Claven. The fan club is small, but prestigious. 

dwcbuckeye's picture

I don't know about Bauersman, but when I went to OSU we had a guy named Greg Fry leading the team.  You cannot tell me Bauserman is better than Fry.  Look it up.

+1 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Someone missed the joke. 

+2 HS
bodast67's picture

The joke must have been over his head...

 

 

 

     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

Tanner's picture

You're right. He definitely wasn't better than Greg Fry. My bad.

+2 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I don't know about Bauersman,

Did you sleep through the 2011 season or is this selective amnesia?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

jamesrbrown322's picture

Everyone always forgets how great Antione Winfield and Mike Doss were....

OSU is one of those schools where a top 10 just does not do justice b/c you leave of Tatum, Jim Parker, Bill Willis, Doss, Pepper Johnson, Cousineau, Hicks, Byers, Cris Carter, Mangold, Stringer, Stillwagon, Germaine, Warfield, Galloway, Laurinaitis, heck, even Nugent! Let us all be so thankful that OSU has had so many wonderfully talented players! There's a reason that eSECpn ranked OSU has the #3 greatest first program of all time...consistent talent and success!

The People. The Tradition. The Excellence. O-H-!
 

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+4 HS
dlb72osu's picture

JB322 - how incredibly right you are. And even with your list there are another 30-50 that could be in a top 10. And none of us remember the 40's and 50's when OSU was just at the threshold of their rise in collegiate FB. How many of those players would crack this list! A Top 10 is impossible to choose; one person's Laurinaitis is another person's Gradishar which is another person's Katzenmoyer. I would imagine every position has ten that could be included.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus

nburns18's picture

I'd agree with the list. Its tough to make a top 10 with Ohio State but I think they got it right. 

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

Ethos's picture

I think Chris Gamble would be an honorable mention, the guy played both sides of the ball, almost unheard of in today's game.

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

+3 HS
Chief B1G Dump's picture

"almost unheard of in today's game."
LOL. Makes me feel old as sh!t...02 was my soph year at OSU.

+2 HS
buckeyeradar's picture

Archie belongs at the top of the list and I agree with DJ that Tatum belongs on the list also.  Of the three bad ass Jacks, Tatum is #1, Reacher (the books) #2, and Bauer #3.

Buckeye in Texas

harleymanjax's picture

Who wrote this article, Captain Obvious? 

In other breaking news...it was sunny and warm here in Florida today!...

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

+3 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

I was thinking the same thing, thought the knowledge was so common it didn't need discussion.

Go Bucks!

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Right. Thank you Sporting News for telling us what we already knew.

 

 

Crumb's picture

I may be getting ahead of myself but if he has a good Senior Year I think Braxton could crack the top ten.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

I think he'd need a Heisman or at least O'Brien Award. To be the best of all-time, you need to at least be the best nationally at your position. Braxton has been very good to  us, but some may even leave him out of an Ohio State QB top 5.  

Crumb's picture

How about a third Silver Football? Has that ever happened? Braxton is very capable of putting himself in the in the to 10 all time, and with respect if number 5 isn't in your top 5 Buckeye QBs you need to rethink your list.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

As of right now it's a pretty solid debate if he's in the top 5. Horvath, Kern, Schlicther, Hoying, TP, and Troy Smith just to name a few. He doesn't have any bowl wins. I think after this season he's in, but it's not guaranteed. 

Knarcisi's picture

That's a great list, and very valid. Not that any of those should be omitted, but John Hicks is the one that stands out to me. 

+1 HS
ScarletNGrey01's picture

Obviously we are talking football.  All time OSU athletes, I'm thinking Jesse Owens, Archie and Jack Nicklaus as the #1, 2 and 3 respectively.  Feel free to disagree.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Agreed with that completely. 

Bourbon Meyer's picture

Tatum has got to be #10. If for one reason only, he would be the only member of the 1968 National Championship team included on the list.

Notice neither the '68 nor the '02 championship teams are represented.

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

Wasn't Hawk technically on the team in 02? 

+1 HS
BuckeyeChief's picture

So was Troy.

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

+2 HS
Floyd Stahl's picture

List is not bad, but Janowicz should probably be ahead of Troy. Vic was so versatile and one of the most underrated Buckeyes. Bill Willis and maybe John Hicks deserve consideration, too.

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Lists are great & all & this one isn't bad, but yeah, Jack Tatum is very easily a top 10 gradation when it comes to Buckeyes. Actually, top 5 for me anyway.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Bourbon Meyer's picture

Notice how the '68 Championship team is not represented.

M Man's picture

How has Rex Kern's name not come up?  To me, it is almost a no-brainer to at least put Rex on the list.  We all think of Jack Tatum as one of the great football players ever to pass through Columbus.  But for my money, Rex Kern and Jim Otis were the real forces on the greatest Buckeye teams ever, 1968-69.  With a healthy Rex Kern in his last game, they might never have lost.  There could be four or five guys (Jim Stillwagon?) from '68-'69 on your top ten list.

+3 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Stillwagon is the most obvious snub. However, they obviously insisted on every Heisman winner being included.
 

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

dlb72osu's picture

jb322 - disagree with the Stillwagon comment. Jack Tatum was the Kodak All-American Player of the Decade for the 60's. And Woody himself called Larry Zelina the "Jewell of the Super Sophs.". That group has six 1st round picks. On a personal note, Mike Sensibaugh was the finest baseball and basketball player I ever had the privilege to play against in high school. At OSU he was another great player in that group. And how about a set of tackles, Mayes and Foley both drafted in the first round in 1969. It's an impossible task.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus

jamesrbrown322's picture

Good call, forgot Tatum. Even continuing the list 11-20 would be difficult...

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Seattle Linga's picture

TOOOOOOOO many great Buckeyes not just good the list would have to go a lot higher than 10 to fit them all in.

brandonbauer87's picture

It says a lot about Pace that no one is doubting his inclusion. It's pretty rare for a lineman to be listed among the greats of a university like Ohio State. 

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Pace is, quite honestly, taking into account his dominance in college AND pro football, possibly the best OSU has ever produced. It would be between him and Carter. Pace is, IMO, without a doubt the great OLinemen in the history of CFB.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+2 HS
northwoods buckeye's picture

I would put him #1 on the list, no offense to Archie. I've never seen a lineman dominate the way he did. He knocked D-linemen flat on their a$$es so many times I lost count. Once he crushed whatever lineman was in his way, he had great quickness to get down the field and get another block crushing whatever d-back was dumb enough to try and get in his way. 

Oh, and he played basketball in my high school league (and was on the all-state team). I pitied my school's "big guy" trying to play in the paint against him. Post up? Definitely not an option. Take the charge? Not if you value your life. 

Conan! What is best in life?

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

+1 HS
Kernfan's picture

Kinda interesting that none of the 9 OSU pro football hall of famers made the list.  I was googling trying to find a list of OSU College HOF players and stumbled over the Pro HOF list by colleges.  Nice to see OSU at third over the evil skunk weasels.  The list of OSU players (Cris Carter , Sid Gillman , Lou Groza , Dante Lavelli , Dick LeBeau , Jim Parker , Ed Sabol , Paul Warfield , Bill Willis)  Crap, I had to look up Bill Willis.  My Dad would not be happy as a Browns fan if he was still living.  fyi, website listing out pro HOF by colleges
http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/colleges.aspx

+1 HS
Floyd Stahl's picture

Jim Parker deserves serious consideration. Didn't Woody say he was the best lineman he had ever seen?

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

You can go ahead and count Pace. Sabol didn't really make it as a player, but as a contributor. Also, I believe it is based on college greatness, so Carter, Parker, and Willis are the ones who really stood best chance of being top 10. Warfield was criminally underutilized by Woody at OSU. A four year decoy...

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

BuckAzJoe's picture

I've only been to one Rose Bowl game, but at that game I got to see Archie run wild on the Trojans. I'll never forget that great win by the Bucks.

A Proud AZ Buckeye

+3 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

OLineman usually never get enough credit, compared to skill positions. I have a love of respect for "old school guys" and think that this list emphasizes skill positions and Heisman winners a bit too much. Nice to see Pace up there, but how no OSU DBs, Parker, and Hicks didn't crack the top 10 is crazy!

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

buckeyedude's picture

If I could  have free tickets and flight to ANY game, I'd take tickets to an OSU/USC matchup in the Rose Bowl for the NC. I'd even take that over Super Bowl tickets.

 

 

 

Seattle Linga's picture

I wish I was there - watched it on TV as a kid - just a little before my time. My guess is that has to rank up there as one of your all time Buckeye games?

Go1Bucks's picture

A true list of OSU greats would be so long, you'd fall asleep before getting to the bottom.

Go Bucks!

+2 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

I'll give the rest of the top 25 a shot - 11. Jack Tatum, 12. John Hicks, 13. Jim Parker, 14. Mike Doss, 15. Jim Stillwagon, 16. Randy Gradishar, 17. Cris Carter, 18. Shawn Springs, 19. Keith Byars, 20. Rex Kern, 21. Antione Winfield, 22. Tom Cousineau, 23. James Laurinaitis, 24. Mike Vrabel, 25. Art Schlister.

Wow, could get to 50 pretty easily, just off the top of my head. It's great to be a Buckeye and have so many greats from which to choose.

As far as Brax is concerned, he's one heck of a playmaker, and a great football player, so he might rate higher as a player, but relatively low as a QB, if that makes since. For example, Hoying was a better Quarterback, but Brax is a better player...Either way, it has been a pleasure watching him. Which leads to the point of how little respect Pryor really gets. He would have smashed almost every significant OSU passing record had he not been a ringleader in Tatgate.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

mobboss1984's picture

I wish I was able to watch all these greats. Ohio State football has a great history!!!!

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee
 

MoEddieRobtCarlosBeanie's picture

Smith had two great seasons and won the heisman trophy, but I would make the case for re-ordering the list at him and below.. Mike Doss had a story-book career and won a modern day title, and he got snubbed. I love the old timers as much as the next guy but Vic won the hiesman before the television was invented. The "My Lifetime Top 10" (1979-Present Day)... Based only on memory.. no offense if I have omitted obvious choices.

1. Eddie

2. Spielman

3. Pace

4. Doss

5. Troy

6. Hawk

7. Big Kat

8. Glenn

9. Shazier

10 Galloway

MoEddieRobtCarlosBeanie's picture

I def forgot Lauranitus.